Series (Game 1 of 4)

Dallas leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 22nd
Game 2: Friday, January 23rd
Game 3: Saturday, January 24th
Game 4: Saturday, March 20th

Stars 1

(8-10-0, 19 pts)

Blues 2

(12-5-1, 25 pts)

8:00 PM ET, November 22, 2003

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
DAL 0 1 01
STL 0 1 12

K. Tkachuk (Blues - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Demitra (Blues - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Guerin (Stars - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Tkachuk scores in his first game back

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After serving a three-game suspension, Keith Tkachuk was back on his game for the St. Louis Blues.

Tkachuk scored his team-leading 10th goal in the second period and missed on a penalty shot 30 seconds later in a 2-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.

"I felt like I was playing my best hockey when I got suspended," Tkachuk said. "It's tough, but you've just got to take short shifts early and just play hard and good things will happen."

Tkachuk was suspended for a cross-check to the neck of Sharks defenseman Rob Davison. The Blues' No. 1 line of Tkachuk, Pavol Demitra and Scott Mellanby played together for only the second game this season.

Demitra got the game-winner with his 200th career goal midway through the third period.

Bill Guerin scored his 12th goal, and first on the road, for the Stars. Dallas is 1-6-2 in its last nine games, the lone victory coming Friday night over the Kings.

The Stars had trouble against a team that had allowed nine goals in its two previous games.

"We're not going to tic-tac-toe all night," left wing Brenden Morrow said. "We just need to throw the puck at the net and get some second and third effort."

Demitra's seventh goal gave the Blues a 2-1 lead at 9:52 of the third. He executed a give-and-go with Mellanby at the blue line and split the defense before beating Marty Turco to the stick side.

"We know what we're going to do there," Mellanby said. "It's nice to have that familiarity. It doesn't always work but you're on the same page."

Demitra has four goals and six assists in his last seven games and leads the team with 20 points.

Guerin got the game's first goal at 1:10 of the second period, beating Chris Osgood after a cross-ice feed from Jason Arnott. In his last 12 games, Guerin has nine goals and seven assists.

Tkachuk tied it with his seventh goal at 10:38 from the slot after Demitra won a battle for the puck in the corner. A half-minute later, Turco stopped Tkachuk on a penalty shot that would have put the Blues ahead.

Tkachuk, who was pulled down on a breakaway by Stu Barnes, is 1-for-4 on penalty shots for his career. Turco stopped him with a glove save after nearly losing his balance and falling.

"I don't try to guess," Turco said. "I think I anticipate well. I'm a terrible guesser."

Game notes

Demitra has two game-winning goals and has scored in 14 of his 16 games. ... The Blues have played in an NHL-high 14 one-goal games and are 9-5 in that span. ... The Blues have 200 victories at the Savvis Center, the most by any NHL team in buildings that opened in the 1990s. They're 200-108-43-8 at home since the arena opened in 1994-95. ... The Stars had been 2-0-1 in their previous three games against the Blues. ... Stars captain Mike Modano is minus-15 for the season. ... The Blues have won four in a row at home, and are 6-2 in their last eight overall.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press